August 23, 2005
There have been three bank robberies locally in less than two months, each within miles of one another. Could this be the work of the same man?
On July 7th, a gunman enters the First Citizens Bank on Route 29 North with a note to the teller demanding cash. He gets away on foot.
On July 13 there is another robbery on Route 29 North. This time it is at the BB&T. A similar note was used, and no gun was spotted. The suspect takes off on foot.
On August 19, just a few miles down at the Wachovia on Emmet street he strikes again. It is almost the exact same setup as the first--a gun, a note, and a successful getaway. Three bank robberies within two months on the same stretch of road all in the morning. Could there be a link?
"There are distinct similarities about several events that we are looking at right now, but I can't say that they're absolutely linked, but it appears that they are," said Sgt. Richard Hudson of the Charlottesville Police Department.
The tellers at each bank describe the suspect as a black male between five foot seven and six feet tall weighing between 165-200 pounds wearing a baseball cap. The description is vague but the surveillance pictures from July 13 and August 19 bear striking similarities.
"They're very similar, the description of the suspect is very similar, some other things are very similar," said Hudson.
Over the past few months, similar bank robberies across the state have gone unsolved, raising questions as to whether or not there is more to this story.
"In years past we have arrested people who are responsible for twelve or ten events across the state, I can't say that they are or aren't [linked] at this point but we are looking at the possibility," said Hudson.
But if all of these robberies are likely the work of the same man, how is he doing it alone?
"In my experience, very rarely do people do things like this by themselves, occasionally [they do], but usually there's someone else driving the getaway car," said Hudson.
Although the FBI and local authorities have a strong hunch the three robberies along Route 29 are related; it is their investigative skills and forensic evidence they hope will help to track down the suspect before he strikes again.
If you have any information on the robberies, contact Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.